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Bundle up today and tonight

But the National Weather Service forecasts a warming trend as the week progresses.

December 20, 2006|By Amanda Pennington

The National Weather Service is forecasting a chilly night tonight in Newport-Mesa, coupled with a partial frost advisory, but temperatures are supposed to climb in time for a warm Southern California Christmas.

Temperatures on Tuesday night were expected to be about 40 degrees, and tonight the mercury is supposed to hover in the low 40s, according to the National Weather Service.

The lows, which won't make any record books — the record low is 32 degrees — are prompting residents to bundle up at night and crank up the heater.

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The Balboa Peninsula was quiet Tuesday, but the people who were out tried to stay in the sunshine as they roamed around.

Huntington Beach residents Maeve Brown watched her children play at the playground at A Street. Her parents, who were in town visiting from Dublin, agreed that the weather was not too bad, relative to Ireland in the winter.

Brown said that on Monday night she had to turn on the heater, add blankets to the beds and bundle up.

"I really didn't expect it to be colder here than it was on the East Coast," Brown said regarding news reports she saw on Tuesday.

But the daytime temperatures haven't chilled her to the bone yet. The Ireland native said, "As long as the sun is shining, I don't mind it."

Natural gas use is starting to spike, which is normal for this time of year, but the Southern California Gas Co. is urging people to make sure their natural gas appliances are working properly in order to avoid a possibly life-threatening situation.

"There have been a number of cases up in the Pacific Northwest involving people who've been exposed to carbon monoxide, and there was also an incident [Monday] evening with two women in Long Beach who brought a barbecue in their home," Gas Co. spokeswoman Denise King said Tuesday. "It's really important that you do not use an oven for heat and do not bring a barbecue in for heat because neither one is intended to be used for heating."

To reduce the charges on the gas bill, make sure the heater is working properly, and set it three to five degrees lower than normal, or about 68 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night, as long as health permits the lower temperatures, King said.

She also suggested a bit of winter cleaning around the heater.

"It's important that the area around the furnace is kept clean and free of debris, that nothing is stored around the furnace," King said. "That will help it operate more efficiently and safely, and since the furnace is one appliance that uses the most natural gas in the winter months … that can help save on their winter bill."

The cold weather has not brought westerly winds, which generally bring bigger swells to Newport, so waves are still small and inconsistent, lifeguard Capt. Josh Van Egmond said.

The happy story for surfers is that the water temperature has been and is forecasted to be higher than the air temperature in the morning hours. The water temperature was 58 degrees Tuesday morning when the air was in the mid-40s.

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